Sending Office: Honorable TJ Cox
Sent By:
Fabiola.Rodriguez@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague,

Representative TJ Cox (CA-21) invites you to join him in sending a letter urging U.S. Census Bureau Director, Dr. Steven Dillingham to share a detailed analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2019 Split Panel Test with the American Public no later than
September 16, 2019.
 

The Census Bureau added the 2019 Split Panel Test, a major national experiment, to assess the impact that a possible citizenship question would have on census self-response rates. The experiment’s results are expected to provide critical insight
about census response levels given the current political climate.

While the Administration has dropped plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, it’s clear that fear has already been stoked within immigrant and minority communities throughout our nation. Thus, the results of the experiment are
more important than ever for us to determine what additional outreach efforts need to be implemented to ensure adequate funding for the Census Bureau is allocated. The experiment’s results will also provide important guidance for Census Bureau operations so
that enumerators can be deployed to the census tracts where their efforts will be most necessary, areas with historical low response rates and non-traditional living situations.

To sign onto the letter, please contact Fabiola Rodriguez at fabiola.rodriguez@mail.house.gov.
Deadline extended to Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 12PM.  

Sincerely,

 

TJ Cox                                                  

 

Member of Congress 

 

Text of Letter

The Honorable Steven Dillingham

Director

U.S. Census Bureau

4600 Silver Hill Road

Washington, D.C. 20233

 

Dear Dr. Dillingham,

 

We write to respectfully urge you to share a detailed analysis of the Census Bureau’s 2019 Split Panel Test with the American public no later than September 16,
2019.

 

As Members of Congress committed to ensuring we have an accurate Census count in 2020, we would like to thank you and the Census Bureau for adding a major national
experiment to assess the impact that a possible citizenship question would have on census self-response rates. It is our understanding that the experiment’s results are expected to provide critical insights about census response levels given the current political
climate. While the Administration has dropped plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, it’s clear that fear has already been stoked within immigrant and minority communities throughout our country. Thus, the results of this experiment are more
important than ever for us to determine what additional outreach efforts need to be implemented and ensure adequate funding for the Census Bureau is allocated before the budget for Fiscal Year 2020 is finalized.

 

It is our understanding that the research design for the 2019 Census Split-Panel test is robust, with a sample of 480,000 households nationally. This will provide
important guidance for Census Bureau operations so that enumerators can be deployed to the census tracts where their efforts will be most necessary, areas with historical low response rates and non-traditional living situations. This information is especially
critical early on because enumerator recruitment is expected to ramp up in September.

 

A detailed analysis of the Split Panel Test will be needed by September 2019 for states that plan to supplement Census Bureau messaging to increase response levels
in order to know where to invest in media messaging and outreach. This analysis will assist the Census Bureau in planning where to locate local questionnaire assistance centers (QAC’s) and in collaborating with local community organizations in setting up events
for the Census Bureau’s Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Centers to visit.

 

We’ve continued to hear from local advocacy groups in our districts that there are serious questions about the viability of online census responses for rural households
where the only form of Internet access is via a mobile phone.
The 2019 Split-Panel Test will allow us to identify the best methods to help those
households respond.

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Given the timeliness of the Decennial Census, we look forward to your prompt response and the results of the Census
Bureau’s 2019 Split Panel Test.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

TJ Cox

Member of Congress

                  

Related Legislative Issues

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